We are more than happy to write on exciting tourist destinations in Africa. African is a destination known for many things – diverse culture, stunning attractions and exciting activities, laid-back cities and coastal villages, picturesque beaches and magnificent landscapes, glorious mountains and spectacular wildlife.
It’s almost impossible to experience the destinations it has all at once. However, these amazing and popular tourist attractions have been on every traveler’s bucket list and you should visit them too.
Serengeti National Park In Tanzania: #1 Best Tourist Destinations in Africa
Home to the Great Migration, Serengeti National Park easily makes its way into most bucket lists. This fascinating park presents all kinds of ecosystems which allows it to host a variety of plants, birds and animals. The sheer diversity makes it one of the most unique national parks in Africa. Over the years, Serengeti National Park has attracted people from all walks of life, including movie stars, celebrities, writers and poets, and it easily ranks as one of the most coveted safari destinations in Africa.
Serengeti National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and probably the most famous game reserve in the world. The area around the Serengeti Visitor Centre and the Seronera River is the busiest, but offers reliable, superb game viewing throughout the year, and is home to more than 500 bird species. But the real draw here is the Great Migration when literally millions of wildebeest, zebras and gazelles pound the plains in search of fresh pasture to feed on; you are most likely to witness the incredible natural spectacle of the Mara River crossings from August onwards.
Area: 14,763 sq km/5,700 sq miles
Best time to visit: Late June to September, when the Great Migration reaches the plains of North Serengeti. However, from October to May the grasslands around Naabi Hill Gate are teeming with wildlife.
Kilimanjaro Mountain In Tanzania: #2 Best Tourist Destinations in Africa
Each year thousands of visitors visit the infamous Kilimanjaro Mountain. Its beauty and magnificence are simply unmatched. Whether it be looking out from within the mountain, or from afar toward Mount Kilimanjaro, there is no doubt that it is a stunning natural spectacle.
As the highest mountain in Africa, it is a dream trek for many. En route to the top one must pass by sloping lowlands, farmlands and alpine areas. However, it is not just for the experienced trekkers anymore, first-time enthusiasts can partake in a trip to this legendary national park via more gentle trips to the top or by stopping in for a day trip.
Pyramids of Giza In Egypt: #3 Best Tourist Destinations in Africa
Giza’s Great Pyramid (also called the Pyramid of Cheops) is not only this ancient site’s most famous monument but one of the most well-known monuments in the world. It was built by the Pharaoh Khufu (commonly called by its Greek transliteration of Cheops) and was known to the ancient Egyptians as Ekhet Khufu (“Horizon of Khufu”).
According to Herodotus, 100,000 men worked on its construction for three months every year. This mammoth structure’s cubic content is staggering. Excluding the rock foundation and the interior chambers, the Great Pyramid is 2.3 million cubic meters. The base measurement is 227.5 meters, and the vertical height is 137.2 meters.
The non-claustrophobic can venture into the pyramid’s bowels, although there isn’t much to see once inside the dank, narrow corridors. The entrance is by a passage on the northern side of the pyramid, which was cut by tomb robbers some 15 meters below the original entrance. This narrow tunnel leads into the Grand Gallery, a long passage that is a marvel of skilful masonry. Beyond this is the Tomb Chamber containing the open, empty granite sarcophagus, which once would have contained Khufu’s mummy.
Zanzibar Island In Tanzania: #4 Best Tourist Destinations in Africa
The island of Zanzibar, also called Unguja, is a major holiday destination in Tanzania and known for its beautiful beaches. Part of the Zanzibar archipelago, which consists of the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba, this island has some of the best beaches in the world. The surf varies depending on what side of the island you are on, but visitors will find soft white sand and clear shallow water, along with traditional boats lining the shore.
Zanzibar Island is known as Africa’s tropical paradise, offering the world’s most beautiful beaches. Miles and miles of white sandy beaches dotted with palm trees, surrounded by the clear azure water of the Indian Ocean. Zanzibar Island is part of the Zanzibar archipelago together with Pemba Island and many smaller islands. These islands are also called the Spice Islands because of its rich history in the spice trade and many spice plantations.
Zanzibar Island offers laid-back beach life, but also a diversity of activities and colourful culture and history. The old Stone Town is amazing to mix of cultures. Food lovers and culture enthusiasts can visit interesting cultural places like Sultan’s Palace, the House of Wonders and Darajani or Forodhani food markets. You can go on a Spice Tour or explore the amazing coral reefs and swim among tropical reef fish. The opportunities are endless. Zanzibar Island has all the ingredients to make a memorable holiday.
Victoria Falls In Zambia: #5 Best Tourist Destinations in Africa
As the mighty Zambezi River crashes over a basalt rock ledge and drops 354 feet or 108 metres down into a powerful whirlpool, it forms the largest sheet of falling water on the planet: the Victoria Falls. Traditionally known as Mosi-oa-Tunya (which, aptly, means ‘The Smoke that Thunders’), the falling water’s impressive roar can sometimes be heard from 25 miles or 40 kilometres away. On a wind-free day during high-water season, which runs from about February to July depending on the rain, a dazzling cloud of mist can float high above the Falls. This is truly a magnificent wonder of nature that every safari lover should experience at least once!
- The high-water season is from about February to July – expect the most spectacular views of the Falls and prepare to get a little wet.
- The low-water season is from about August to January – this is the best time for white-water rafting and swimming in Devil’s Pool.
- Safari high or peak season is from about June to October – a good time to combine a safari with a visit to Vic Falls. Bear in mind that the later you visit, the drier the Falls will be. The ‘sweet spot’ for a good safari and great views is generally about July and August, which is also a very popular time to visit. Reservations should be secured well in advance.
During high-water season, more than 17 million cubic feet (481 386 cubic metres) of the waterfall over the edge every single minute – that’s almost 200 times more than an Olympic swimming pool or 12 000 pools in an hour!
Kruger National Park In South Africa: #6 Best Tourist Destinations in Africa
Kruger National Park is justifiably one of the most famous parks in Africa. The park is the size of a small country and supports a huge variety of wildlife. All of the Big Five are present in large numbers. A comprehensive road network that is fine for 2WD cars means Kruger is one of the best parks for self-drive safaris.
Kruger National Park offers magnificent wildlife viewing. All the major safari animals are present including the Big Five. The big cats are present in healthy numbers, and lions, in particular, are frequently seen. Elephant and buffalo are common throughout, while white rhino, though still numerous, are under threat from poaching. Kruger NP has a wide variety of antelope including greater kudu and the very common impala.
Kruger’s main habitat is woodland savannah, and the vegetation is relatively thick throughout, especially during the Wet season. The gently undulating landscape has its highest peak at Khandzalive (839m), in the southwest. Olifants Camp sitting high on a bluff overlooking the Olifants River is a scenic highlight with jaw-dropping views. Trees to look out for include the baobab in the tropical north and the striking yellow fever tree near water.
Maasai Mara National Reserve In Kenya: #7 Best Tourist Destinations in Africa
The Masai Mara is one of Africa’s most famous parks. The wildlife viewing is superb throughout the year. The grassy plains and regular rainfall supports a huge population of herbivores, in turn attracting many predators. All three big cats are relatively easy to see. The yearly wildebeest migration coming through the park is one of the world’s most amazing wildlife spectacles.
The Serengeti-Mara ecosystem is home to the annual wildebeest migration where 2.5 million wildebeest, zebra and gazelles follow the rains in search of new grass. They make their way from the Serengeti to the Masai Mara somewhere around July and August and usually arrive in September. The crossing of the Mara River along the way is one of the highlights of this spectacular event. They slowly head back into Tanzania around October.
The Masai Mara is one of the best parks in Africa for seeing big cats. Even leopards are generally relaxed, and their behaviour can easily be observed. Cheetah is often spotted on the open savannah eyeing off their next meal. Of the other Big Five, elephant and buffalo are plentiful, but black rhino is trickier and can only be found in certain areas.
Table Mountain In South Africa: #8 Best Tourist Destinations in Africa
South Africa’s most famous landmark, Table Mountain, is more than just a pile of rocks in the bay. A protected national park, it has some remarkable features that make it a fantastic destination for nature-lovers, deserving of more than just a quick cable car ride to see the view from the top (although that is totally worth it).
The mountain forms part of Table Mountain National Park, which is globally recognised for its biodiversity what with its truly unique and incredibly beautiful fauna and flora. The park encompasses the Table Mountain chain stretching from Signal Hill in the north to Cape Point in the south including the seas and coastline of the peninsula.
If you’re not up for a good hike, but still appreciate a breathtaking view, The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway will smoothly fast track you to the top. Since its opening in 1929, more than 22 million people have taken the trip to the top of Table Mountain. At the upper cable station, you will find a restaurant and a curio shop as well as a network of footpaths to explore the tabletop. Get your camera ready, though. The views are simply stunning all around the top of the mountain.
Djemaa el Fna In Morocco: #9 Best Tourist Destinations in Africa
Everywhere you look in Marrakesh’s main square (pronounced ‘jema’ – the ‘d’ is silent), you’ll discover drama in progress. The hoopla and halqa (street theatre) have been non-stop here since the 11th century. Until a few decades ago, it hosted a daily food market for mountain traders. Now the whine of snake-charmer pungi flutes hits full throttle by mid-morning, and the show doesn’t really kick off until sunset when restaurants fire up their grills, cueing musicians to tune up their instruments.
Locals delight in telling tourists that its name means ‘assembly of the dead’, which could derive from the fact that public executions were likely held here in the past. Unesco declared Djemaa El Fna a ‘Masterpiece of World Heritage’ in 2001 for bringing urban legends and oral history to life nightly, and although the storytellers who once performed here have since given way to communal games, musical performers, and slapstick comedy acts, Djemaa’s nightly carnival continues to dazzle.
Amazigh musicians strike up the music and gnaoua troupes sing while henna tattoo artists beckon to passersby, and water-sellers in fringed hats clang brass cups together, hoping to drive people to drink. This is a show you don’t want to miss, and it’s a bargain too: applause and a few dirhams ensure an encore.
Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo: #10 Best Tourist Destinations in Africa
Located in the northeast corner of DR Congo, Virunga National Park is part of Virunga Conservation Area along with Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park and Uganda’s Mgahinga National Park. It was established as Albert National Park in 1925 and changed to Virunga in 1969. In 1979 it became a world heritage site.
Due to its dramatic variations in altitude, from 680 m (2231 ft) to 5,109 m (16,765 ft), moisture levels and topography, Virunga National Park possesses a very wide diversity of plants and habitats, making it the top African National Park for biological diversity.
The scenery of Virunga National Park is truly stunning. It contains several volcanic mountains such as: Karisimbi, Mikeno, Visoke, Sabinyo, Nyamuragira and Nyiragongo, with the last two still very active. A wide-range of plant species abound here, with more than 2,000 identified.
It also contains more than 200 mammals and 22 primate species: the mountain gorilla, the eastern plain gorilla and the eastern chimpanzee. For those wishing to see more than just primates, some of the largest wild animal concentrations in Africa occur along the rivers of the park. Mammals in the savannah area include: elephant, hippopotamus, buffalo, antelope, warthog, pelicans and lions.
Okavango Delta In Botswana: #11 Best Tourist Destinations in Africa
The Okavango Delta is one of Africa’s most famous destinations. There are several private reserves in the delta, as well as Moremi Game Reserve. It offers a true wilderness experience, excellent wildlife viewing and stunning scenery. Walking safaris and mokoro (dugout canoe) trips are a great addition to the usual game drives.
The delta is a vast area and wildlife viewing is dependent on your location. Moremi Game Reserve is the most productive and four of the Big Five are easily seen. Rhino are present in Moremi, but not seen that often. Elephant and hippo are abundant throughout the delta and wild dogs are quite common. The water-loving red lechwe and waterbuck are easy to see from a mokoro.
Water levels in the delta are most conducive to mokoro (dugout canoe) trips in the Dry season (April to October). This is also the best time to see wildlife, putting aside the heat that dominates the two months before the rains come. You can still see animals in the heart of the delta in the Wet season (November to March), but storms and lower water levels can limit activities.
Ait Benhaddou In Morocco: #12 Best Tourist Destinations in Africa
Ait-Ben-Haddou in Morocco is a beautiful mudbrick ksar located in the southeast of the country and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987. The small village was built around 1000 years ago and was then an important point along the caravan route. Today, Ait-Ben-Haddou is one of the most interesting places to visit in Morocco and the most attractive stop for round trips across the country.
Due to its unique architecture and incredibly magical ambience, the Kasbah Ait-Ben-Haddou has become a film set for many famous movies. For example, Game of Thrones, Gladiator and Lawrence of Arabia were filmed here. Yes, this pretty place is really impressive and so every Morocco traveler should have seen the country’s biggest Kasbah. But what to do in Ait-Ben-Haddou, what are the highlights and the best attractions?